Queen Info Database
Queen Info Database

Bicycle Race is a song by Queen. It was written by Freddie Mercury for the band's 1978 album Jazz. It was also released as a Double-A side with the song Fat Bottomed Girls.

The song is notable for its music video depicting a naked bicycle race in Wimbledon, London.

History[]

Composition[]

The song was written by Freddie Mercury and was inspired by watching the 18th stage of the 1978 Tour de France passing Montreux, where the band were recording Jazz in the Mountain Studios. It starts with a chorus unaccompanied by instruments. The chorus is followed by two verses connected with a bridge, both followed by a chorus. Around the middle of the song is a solo played with numerous bicycle bells.

Music Video[]

To promote the single, a promotion video was created featuring 65 naked women, all professional models, racing at Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium. It was filmed by Denis de Vallance.

The group rented the stadium and several dozen bikes for one day for filming the scene; however, when the renting company became aware of the way their bikes were used, they requested that the group purchase all the bicycle seats. The original video used special effects to hide the nudity.

The race was staged on 17th September 1978 at Wimbledon Stadium, London, as part of the promotional campaign for the then forthcoming Jazz album. The models raced around the stadium for a very eager audience of film crew and photographers (though the band could not make it to the event) and the footage was incorporated into the video, though for natural reasons it was heavily distorted with various multicolour blocking effects. Interestingly, bicycle firm Halfords, who had provided all the bicycles, refused to take back the used saddles and demanded the band paid for replacements.

Distribution[]

The original, abridged single release was distributed in 1978 on 7-inch vinyl records, with "Fat Bottomed Girls" on the A-side. A longer variant with an ending guitar solo is found on the Jazz album. <ref>"Queen Vault - Jazz". www.queenvault.com.

After the initial 1978 releases, unaltered versions of the song appear in the Greatest Hits (1981), Live Killers, and the Greatest Hits (1992) compilation albums.

Personnel[]

Chart performance[]

Charts (b/w Fat Bottomed Girls) Peak position
Australia (Kent Music Report) 28
Austria (Ö3 Top 40) 21
Belgium (Ultratop 50) 15
Canada (RPM) 17
France (IFOP) 7
Germany (Media Control Charts) 27
Ireland (IRMA) 10
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 7
Norway (VG-lista) 7
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 20
United Kingdom (Official Charts Company) 11
United States (Billboard Hot 100) 24

Gallery[]

Main article: Bicycle Race/Gallery

Trivia[]